The Capacity To Love Knows No Boundaries


“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame.”  (Song of Solomon 8:6)

100_1152A couple of weeks ago, we found a new puppy – or rather the puppy found me. Having two already, we certainly weren’t in the market for another pooch but when I walked into the room and this adorable face smiled up at me, tail wagging while his tongue darted out for kisses, I was hooked.

Strolling toward him, he jumped upon the rim of his enclosure and gazed at me through love-struck eyes. Oh wait . . .  that was my love struck eyes. He’s a Cavashon, a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Bischon. Affectionate, calm and intelligent – a great combination.

My husband and I walked around that flea market for a while, debating the pros and cons of adopting another dog. Our gentle, beautiful Cocker Spaniel was 13 1/2 and sadly, in increasingly ill health. Our Lhasa although loving, was very territorial and we weren’t sure how she’d react. In the end however, love won out.

Our sweet Cocker didn’t know what to think at first but quickly accepted another brother. Our Lhasa was another story. She sulked, pouted and was seemingly angry that we gave attention to some “ruffian from the streets.” She agreed to tolerate this new guy rather than attack him.  To compensate we gave her lots of attention and belly rubs (at least when she wasn’t hiding under the bed.)DSCN2972

I’m sorry she doesn’t understand that, as her master, we certainly have enough love to accept all of them. But just like that little Lhasa Apso, we sometimes sulk when God seemingly gives more treats to others than us!

Is your heart generous enough to love others? Or are we so wrapped up in our own world that we fail to comprehend that the human heart has the capacity to love unselfishly?  There’s a cute line in the movie Charade when Audrey Hepburn remarks to Cary Grant, “Well I have so many friends now that until one dies I can’t possibly know anyone else.” In other words, shut the door, I’ve got enough friends. No one else better apply.

Sometimes we actually do view God that way too. Has the thought of, “God loves that person more than me” ever crossed your mind? That’s a very human response but God loves all and wants us to come to Him. John 3:16.

He is the epitome of LOVE. God doesn’t play favorites. (Romans 2:11)

I am so grateful for the abundant life God has given us! Traveling the world has brought us incredibly relationships and although not wealthy by any means, we have secured a treasury filled with friendships!

GrandCanyon 032 Our Cocker Spaniel has traveled with us six of the twelve times we’ve crossed this country. His welcoming demeanor attracted friendships from all over. We will always be grateful to having known him. You see we lost him to a fast growing cancer several days ago and even though our hearts are breaking as I write this, we wouldn’t have missed the opportunity to have him in our lives in spite of the pain.

God lives outside of time and knew what we needed before we did. He allowed our paths to cross with this transitional, rather than a replacement puppy (because no one could ever replace another) so our hearts will heal more quickly.

We count it all Joy that we had this blessing in our lives. God is Good.

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28 thoughts on “The Capacity To Love Knows No Boundaries

  1. Beautifully put Ellie. And I’m sorry for your loss 😦 New pets are not a replacement, but open a new spot in our hearts with a new capacity to love, not to forget what we’ve lost. And our hearts are big enough to love as many people as our hearts desire. There is no limit to loving. 🙂 xoxo

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    • You are so kind; tank you for understanding. So true. When I was young and we already had two children, we decided that was enough. Of course the doctor tried to talk us out of it because “what if one died and we wanted another???” Even in my twenties we knew one person could never replace another. (Adoption was always an option anyway.) We could keep our hearts open, embracing the joy of the new, without dishonoring the memories of the past love. ❤

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  2. “Tears.” I am very sorry for your loss. My loss was a Cockatiel, that my wife and I had with us for sixteen years. It was also a fast-moving cancer (Carcenoma Cancer) that took the love of our life from us, watching her die before our very eyes; after having her in a university small animal hospital for two weeks, and having brought her home, praying for God to heal her, and watching her die just twenty-four hours after having brought her home; having buried her shortly after midnight in the yard next to our front porch, using a machete to dig her grave; having my wife wrap her up in a towel and placing her tender body in a plastic bag, and praying over her grave, and covering her grave with objects to keep animals from trying to dig up her body; and finding our home to be a very different place than it had been “for sixteen years.” “Tears!” Plenty of tears and wondering why God didn’t answer our prayers. Lucy was innocent. Why did that horrible disease attack her body? At almost the same time that we noticed that Lucy had a strange limp, and we began trying to figure out if she had acquired Arthritis, and we made visits to our local vet until he advised us to take Lucy to the University; two and a half months before Lucy died, Remi entered the world. Two weeks of grief passed; it was horrible. Then, we found the only Cockatiel in our city, who was Remi She was not a replacement for Lucy, but we often felt unfaithful to Lucy for bringing another Cockatiel into our home so soon after Lucy’s death. It is still hard for us to think about Lucy without crying.. I don’t see any end to it. But (I hate the word, “but,”… so impersonal) Remi has become a God-sent blessing for us. She has helped the healing process. Her personality is totally different from that of Lucy. We have since moved from where we were living when Lucy died. It was hard pulling away and not being able to take her with us. I can’t end my story…tears. Three and a half years.

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      • I almost felt selfish with my thoughts that I put on your blog. I didn’t want to just talk about me, but my mind drew me to those painful memories. I am truly sorry for the grief that you have also had to go through. A friend of mine, a dear Messianic Jewess, had a similar loss about a year ago. Her dog died rather unexpectedly; it had a lot to do with the food from the family leftovers that caused the death. I had a pastor friend that went to the home of one of the families in his congregation when one of their dogs died… I wrote about Lucy during her sickness in emails. And then, I wrote about her death very soon after she died. Very quickly, I had three emails of comfort, very early in the morning hours. I will never forget their kindness. I continued to write emails for about two weeks after Lucy’s death; they are saved, just as my love for her will always be saved in my heart.

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  3. Ellie,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so hard when we lose animals we love, they leave a large hole in our heart. They can never be replaced.
    I’m glad you found another sweetheart for your home.
    Blessings!

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    • Thank you Robbye. I’m grateful that God can see ahead and we were able to have all three for a short while. (The pup made our Cocker young again.)n Yes that beautiful dog travelled all over the country with us and almost immediately, as we set up the motorhome, he drew friends in sitting on the dashboard . He was a gentle, sweet dog and will be so missed! Our Cavashon has much of his same personality. Love you my sweet friend. Blessings back,

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  4. Oh Ellie, I just read this post for the first time. I have been so busy with a new position at work. I am so so sorry for the loss of your precious Cocker Spaniel. I am in tears. It is so hard to say goodbye to our sweet babies. What a beautiful post. I completely agree with you when you say that the new puppy was not a coincidence. Our 12 year Labrador, Rowdy, is not doing too well and we are making the most of the time we have left with him. I am certain that our pets will be in Heaven. They bring us such joy. And Heaven will be full of unending joy and all creation will be made new. Love and hugs, grieving with you.

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    • Thank you for your kindness Wendy. It was indeed a sad day and I appreciate your empathy. He was the most gentle and sweet dog we’ve ever owned and so intelligent. Yes I pray that all the pets we’ve loved will be surrounding us in heaven. God does say the lions will lay down with the lamb and we know there are horses in heaven too (since Christ will return on one.) They also demonstrate personality, feelings and know right from wrong. If they aren’t in heaven then God has something even better! I trust my Lord in that thought. (I just knew with your kind and gentle heart you would understand and respond.) Blessings back to you dear friend,

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    • Thank you for your kindness Wendy. It was indeed a sad day and I appreciate your empathy. He was the most gentle and sweet dog we’ve ever owned and so intelligent. Yes I pray that all the pets we’ve loved will be surrounding us in heaven. God does say the lions will lay down with the lamb and we know there are horses in heaven too (since Christ will return on one.) They also demonstrate personality, feelings and know right from wrong. If they aren’t in heaven then God has something even better! I trust my Lord in that thought. (I just knew with your kind and gentle heart you would understand and respond.) Blessings back to you dear friend,

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  5. I’m so sorry about the loss of your little family member. My husband and I survive those times by remembering and feeling grateful for the great years of love together. Isn’t it funny how dogs (and other animals) will often pick us out versus the other way around? I hope your new family member has settled in well.

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  6. Oh D. than you so much for your kind heart and encouraging words. As a counselor I saw so many patients focusing and living in the past rather than being grateful for the joy which could be found there. Our beautiful Cocker sure brought so much joy to our lives! I’d rather have had him and endure pain than to miss that memories he gave us over nearly 14 years. And yes, our new puppy has blended right in, instilling happiness into our home amidst sorrow. We remain a joyful home. 🙂 ❤

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  7. So sorry to hear of your loss, Ellie. I have a thirteen-year-old ShiTzu. She has been a joy to the whole family. Now that she has grown older we see our days with her are numbered. The thought of losing her is a hard one. But like you, I’m thankful for the time I have had with her. I’m happy for you and your new fur-baby.

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    • Thank you Gail. (Our Lhasas lived nearly 17 years so I hope your sweet Shitzu also lives that. long, for they are hearty pooches too!) Yes, this little furry guy picked me out and I believe it is because God knows all and realized this new addition would lesson the pain somewhat. I appreciate your kindness. Blessings back,

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